Mar 262021


Well, my list of 2020’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs died a sad death, allowed to wither away from neglect. I made it from Part 1 through Part 17, which collectively included 47 songs, and then I just never got back to it. I posted Part 17 on February 9th of this year, which was around the time when my day job started crushing me, and Part 18 never arrived. At some point in early March it dawned on me that it would be kind of ridiculous to try to pick it back up so long after 2020 ended. And then I kept forgetting to even do this “wrap up” post.

Some of you might think that I should just provide a list of the songs I never got around to, instead of writing features for each one as I usually do. That would be a logical idea, except I don’t know what all the other songs would have been. I always mostly make up this list as I go along, and there are still hundreds of tracks on my 2020 candidate list. It’s better to just acknowledge that we’re done for 2020.

Below you will find links too Parts 1 through 17 of the list as they appeared over time before time ran out, and of course the names of all the songs. Continue reading »

Feb 092021


There’s not much rhyme or reason as to why I grouped these three songs together. Other than the fact that each of them includes some really nasty ear-shredding vocals, they’re very different from each other musically. I guess it’s a matter of me realizing that I’m running out of time to finish this list (though it’s more a matter of making myself stop than really finishing), and I just want to pack in as many of the songs that really grabbed me last year as I can. Hope you like them too.


This slasher-film side-project of Anaal Nathrakh’s Mick Kenney, Fukpig’s The Void,  and perhaps other members of those bands, certainly struck a chord with listeners last year. Make Them Die Slowly released not one but two albums in 2020 (Ferox and The Bodycount Continues…), plus a hell of a good Christmas single (“Silent Night, Murder Night“), and as far as I can tell, people loved the shit out of all of it. I sure as hell did. Continue reading »

Feb 082021

Daughter Chaos


Well, this is embarrassing. After a previous gap in the daily rollout of this list I resumed, with promises to steadily continue, and then my day job and personal obligations fucked those plans (again). So now here we are, launching Part 16 a full week after launching Part 15. Honestly, knowing what lies ahead of me this week in my day job, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to add installments every day this week either. But I’d still like to forge ahead a little bit more before giving up altogether.

In case you’re coming here for the first time, all the previous installments for this list can be found here.


This is kind of a “Chosen by DGR” segment of the list. Both songs were on the set of recommendations he sent me, and on top of that Andy Synn reviewed (with praise) the records that included them. So, I paid extra attention to them and found them to be worthy additions. Continue reading »

Feb 012021


This is the day on which I originally planned to end the rollout of this 2020 list, but I’ve revised my plans, mainly because I wasn’t able to make a new installment on a daily basis during January. The days I missed have left me with too many songs that I still want to include.

The 2019 edition of this list included 60 songs, which was a lower number than in the preceding three years. If you’ve been counting, you know that this year I’ve only made it to 42 so far (including today’s two tracks), so I really feel compelled to keep going. When will I stop? I haven’t quite figured that out yet, but I’ll let you know when I do.


…And Oceans‘ 2020 record Cosmic World Mother was a comeback album, the group’s first full-length release since 2002. As my friend DGR wrote in his review, it was also one of the more blistering releases to come out last year, a symphonic black metal assault that was “absolute hellfire in song form”. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t contagious. Continue reading »

Jan 292021


Welcome to Part 14 of this list, in which I’ve turned again toward black metal, with two songs that made a deep impact the first time I heard them and haven’t loosened their grip over the months that have followed. To explore the songs that preceded them on this list, you’ll find them all behind this link.


“In the midst of a time when it is all too easy to feel desperate and demoralized by forces both human and viral that seem bent on crushing both life and hope, it is worth remembering that humanity has been here before. Remembering such times, and the efforts of valiant people who survived and transcended them, can itself furnish hope. And maybe we can learn something about how this is to be done, as well”.

Those words are how I began a review of Forthcoming Humanity by the Greek band Yovel, which preceded our premiere of a full album stream. In that remarkable album, Yovel devoted themselves to remembrance of such times. A concept album, it is based upon the poems of Tasos Leivaditis, a brilliant poet and a revolutionary, who himself lived through harrowing periods, including the second World War. Born in 1922, he died in 1988. Continue reading »

Jan 282021


And now we have arrived at the lucky 13th Part of this list, which happens to demonstrate three different ways, out of a great multitude of ways, in which extreme music can be highly infectious — though it must be said that all three of these create the effect with some damned potent grooves (some more punishing than others). But the ability of the songs to vigorously apply a crowbar to the crest of your lizard-like head isn’t all that goes on here.


Over the course of a decade working on NCS I’ve developed a pretty good idea about the tastes (even as they have evolved) of our longest-running writers, along with my own of course. If I imagine them as a grouping of Venn diagrams, there are definite regions of intersection, and Poland’s Koronal happens to fall within one of those. Which is to say that all of us old-timers thoroughly enjoyed their 2020 album, A Gift of Consciousness. Continue reading »

Jan 272021


Well, look at what happened. No sooner than I said in the last installment of this list that I wouldn’t have time to double-up on these posts in an effort to catch up from six missing days of the rollout, now I’ve gone and done it. (But don’t expect that I’ll be able to continue doing it.)

Unlike most of these installments, I have no particular rhyme or reason why I grouped these three songs together. I’ve searched my subconscious to figure out why, and have come up empty. Maybe it’s simply because I couldn’t find other groupings in which they would comfortably fit. Maybe it’s because I imagined (with a grin) the whiplash effect they would have on you when listening to them back-to-back-to-back.


No surprise here, it was guaranteed that something from Anaal Nathrakh’s Endarkenment album would be on this list. If there was any anticipation or intrigue, that might have come only from wondering which song I would pick, because there were so many worthy options. Indeed, after compiling the lists generated by our readers, by myself, and by my comrade DGR, there were almost a half-dozen candidates. Continue reading »

Jan 272021


Like all the best-laid plans of mice and men, my goals for the rollout of this list have obviously gone seriously awry. With Part 10 having gone up on January 18th, I’ve missed six weekdays. That’s six missing installments of the list that will be very difficult to make up if I stick to my plan of finishing the rollout by the end of January. Which means I will probably have to change that drop-dead date, because I’d really like to load the list with more tracks than the remaining days of this month will allow, and I’m still busy enough with other things that it’s unlikely I’ll be able to double-up the installments every day.

Anyway, on we go…


Necrophobic’s 2020 album Dawn of the Damned was one of those records that was home to multiple candidates for this list, and as I considered them, no one track clearly stood out above the others. In an effort to settle on just one song, I sought the input of Andy Synn. As usual, he was very little help. He suggested it would be a choice between “Mirror Black”, “Dawn of the Damned”, and “As the Fire Burns”, which simply confirmed my own selection of candidates — though I also had “The Infernal Depths of Eternity” in that group. Continue reading »

Jan 182021



I’ve grouped together many of the preceding installments in this list (all of which you can find here) by various organizing principles that made sense to me. I don’t really have one for today’s Part of the list, other than the fact that both groups here are black metal bands and both make distinctive music, albeit in markedly different ways. One made a very big splash with their 2020 album, and the other is still beneath many people’s radar screens, though they deserve more attention (and maybe this post will help produce a bit more of that).


This Finnish band just keeps getting better and better. They were a worthy choice for one of The Synn Reports last year (here), in which Andy meticulously traced their growth over three albums into becoming “masters of a scintillating brand of Black Metal which fuses the epic extravagance of their countrymen in Moonsorrow with the swaggering, riff-centric approach of Immortal and the fearless melodic mettle of Bathory“, while also making the sound something they could rightly call their own. Continue reading »

Jan 162021



This past week I missed two days in the rollout of this list, for reasons explained when I was able to resume it. I also mentioned that I might try to catch up this weekend, et voila!

As the alert warns you, or maybe entices you, all three of today’s selections involve singing, and thus run counter to the rule in our site’s title. But as regular NCS visitors know, that’s never been an iron-clad rule. We have always made exceptions where exceptions are well-earned, and they are in the case of these songs. Plus, I found these songs highly infectious, so much so that I could not in good conscience omit from this list. (And these won’t be the last partially or wholly clean-sung songs to make the list.)


Reunions and come-backs are a whole lot more miss than hit, but holy shit, have Cirith Ungol been hitting it out of the park since they came back together after almost 20 years of inactivity. Along with some great live shows, their 2018 single “Witch’s Game” was a sign that the band still had it. And last year brought further proof with the release of Forever Black, their first studio album since 1991’s Paradise Lost. Continue reading »